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Music

Symphonic Selections bringing the finest VGM together


Zelda, Shenmue, and Monster Hunter meet in symphony
Jul 22
// Audun Sorlie
Today, tickets go on sale for the newest addition to the long-running line of videogame music concerts from German production company Merregnon Studios, titled Symphonic Selections. While the previous concerts in last few yea...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Final Fantasy is a whole new concert


New arrangements played at San Diego Comic Con
Jul 19
// Jayson Napolitano
We've covered the Distant Worlds concert series extensively over the years, but after seeing last night's stop in San Diego for Comic Con, I think it's fair to say that this is an entirely new show with tons of new arrangemen...
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Uematsu and Hamauzu sits down with y'all tomorrow


Final Symphony warms up with a webstream
May 28
// Audun Sorlie
A little while ago, the London Symphony Orchestra asked all of you to send in your questions for Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu, and tomorrow all the answers will be revealed. Well at least the answers you most wanted. Thi...
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Uematsu and Hamauzu livestream Q&A on May 29th


Final Fantasy maestros takes to the web for a Q&A
May 16
// Audun Sorlie
London Symphony Orchestra is gearing up to their very first live video game music concert as Final Symphony takes place in the Barbican hall on May 30th. The concert had its world premiere this last weekend in Germany to a 10...
Final Fantasy photo
Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Final Fantasy is coming to Blu-ray


And the Japanese have no idea how to price Blu-ray products
May 16
// Jayson Napolitano
If you're a fan of Final Fantasy music, it's likely you've heard of the Distant Worlds global tour. Several CD and DVD collections have been released over the years, but Square Enix is putting together a special Blu-ray colle...
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HHHNNNGG! Persona Music Fes 2013 announced


At Nippon Budokan
Apr 30
// Dale North
Atlus returns with their Persona concert series with Persona Music Fes 2013. Just announced, and coming to Nippon Budokan this August, this show will feature music from Persona 3 and Persona 4 performed live, with artists&nb...
Phantasy Star photo
Phantasy Star

Phantasy Star celebrates 25 years with a symphony


Sega will honor the series with the Sympathy concert
Mar 16
// Audun Sorlie
Looks like Sega is back to being awesome again. On March 30th they will be holding a very special one night symphonic tribute to the Phantasy Star series, promising special guests and music pieces from nearly all major Phanta...
Legend of Zelda photo
Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda concert returning to San Francisco


Symphony Of The Goddesses back on June 10
Mar 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
"The Legend of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses" tour will be making a return to San Francisco on June 10, 2013. The concert came through last year, and this time around fans will get to hear new material covering more music ...
The Elder Scrolls photo
The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls: Headed to a symphony hall near you?


Jeremy Soule’s music from Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim
Jan 31
// Jayson Napolitano
With all the videogame music concerts going around these days, have you ever thought about an entire concert dedicated to The Elder Scrolls? Well, composer Jeremy Soule has that very dream, and has begun a social media campai...
MAGFest 11 photo
MAGFest 11

MAGFest: Day three with virt, Yuzo Koshiro, and A_Rival


So much great music, so little time!
Jan 06
// Jayson Napolitano
As previously mentioned, the Saturday's schedule at MAGFest was incredibly compact. There were tons of great acts scheduled as well as several impromptu performances that turned out to be some of the best of the show. As alwa...
MAGFest 2013 photo
MAGFest 2013

MAGFest: Night one is over, you should be here


Random, OneUps, Metroid Metal, The Megas
Jan 04
// Jayson Napolitano
Destructoid is here at MAGFest. Are you? We had a blast today listening to the amazing rap stylings of Random (AKA Mega Ran), who impressed us with a freestyle session based on items that members of the audience held up. The ...

Five reasons you need to go to MAGFest 11

Dec 21 // Jayson Napolitano
While the merchandise area at MAGFest used to be crammed into a small lobby area, it's now expanded into an entire hall dedicated to everything from game music CDs to hand-painted 8-bit pixel art and everything in between. Whether you want to satiate your late night craving for Pocky or take home a souvenir from the event, you'll likely spend a good amount of time (and money!) on the awesome stuff being sold. Videogames! It's great to meet up with a friend you haven't seen in a long time and catch up over a friendly game of Mario Kart. Or Halo. Or Smash Bros. Whatever game it is that you like to play, it will likely be in the 24-hour game hall. Nearly every console is represented along with a ton of arcades (the newly-released DJMAX Technika 3 was available last year). And did I mention you can play ANY TIME you want? The major draw for MAGFest has always been the music. There will be over 40 acts performing this year, including special guest Yuzo Koshiro's DJ set and the new futuristic funk stylings of The OneUps. In fact, there are so many bands and artists performing that they have three separate stages for the event! Of course, there will also be Metroid Metal, The Megas, Armcannon, virt, Danimal Cannon, the Video Game Orchestra, and countless others on hand playing at all hours of the night and early morning, so don't miss out! While the special guests often get the most attention (Yuzo Koshiro, Kinuyo Yamashita, and Chris Huelsbeck are pictured above), there are tons of others who will be on hand, including Jake "virt" Kaufman, Jon St. Jon (voice of Duke Nukem), and more. And that's only the official guest roster. Over 6,000 people attended MAGFest last year, and those included all sorts of people from the gaming industry, so don't be surprised if you run into somebody you know or have heard of, or make new friends with the numerous attendees who share your passion for games and music. If you want to know where the official Destructoid meetup is for MAGFest, this is it. Destructoid Live! is scheduled for Friday, January 4, at 3PM and will feature Destructoid staff -- and of course you -- in an interactive session with fun, prizes, and memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to join us, and don't forget to stick around for the group photo afterwards! --- MAGFest is really something special. There are other events out there that do gaming and music, but not like this. Come out to National Harbor in just less than two weeks, meet some cool people, play some games, listen to some great music, and have a great time with Destructoid and the rest of the attendees! Get your tickets and learn more here: http://magfest.org/Chime in and let us know your favorite MAGFest memories if you've attended in the past, and let us know what you're most looking forward to this year. 
MAGFest photo
And the music is just one of them!
MAGFest is hands down my favorite event of the year. The music and gaming festival not only features an endless buffet of both these things, it also has a lot more on offer as it grows each and every year. We've already menti...

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Final Symphony brings Final Fantasy to London in 2013


Final concert in Thomas Böcker's "Symphonic" series
Nov 26
// Audun Sorlie
Final Symphony, the latest and last grand Final Fantasy concert in German producer Thomas Böcker's critically acclaimed series, has received a second show date. Two weeks after the premiere in Germany, the second stop wi...
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Catch East meets West concert stream on November 24


Legend of Zelda, Turrican, Unlimited SaGa and Journey on radio
Nov 21
// Audun Sorlie
The WDR Radio Orchestra performed the newest concert from producer Thomas Böcker and his team at Merregnon Studios on just last week on November 16. Being in attendance, I can tell you it was a truly fantastic show, feat...
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Soundtrack Cologne bringing the VGM party to Germany


To health and game music, prost!
Oct 28
// Audun Sorlie
You can be sure a lot of beer will be consumed as Soundtrack Cologne 9.0 is preparing to bring some esteemed videogame music legends together for a round of panels and an exclusive concert over the weekend of November 15-18 a...
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Game composers are descending on Boston for VGO concert


Sep 20
// Jayson Napolitano
If you're been to PAX or Anime Boston, you might know a thing or two about the Video Game Orchestra (VGO). Based in Boston, the orchestra performs exclusive arrangements from videogames and anime, and they're set to take...
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[Update: Contest over! Winner of the FFXI concert tickets is MistaAytch!] This year marks the 10th anniversary of Final Fantasy XI, and to celebrate, Square Enix is hosting a tribute concert this weekend in Berkeley, CA! This...

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Shatter OST concert to get live stream and recording


Sep 12
// Jayson Napolitano
We reported last month that composer Jeramiah "module" Ross was performing his music from Shatter, one of the best soundtracks of all time, live in front of an audience later in September. We didn't know at the time, however,...
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New dates: The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses


Sep 05
// Dale North
You need to see The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. First, Chad saw Godessess and even reviewed it. This year, Tony saw it and raved about it, and then Jayson and I attended in San Diego a few months lat...
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Final Fantasy 25th anniversary: PAX event, new concert


Aug 17
// Dale North
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, and the company has a couple of special events planned for this year that you should know about. The official Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary event wi...
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Final Symphony, a Final Fantasy concert not to miss


Aug 12
// Jayson Napolitano
If you've attended or heard recordings of Symphonic Shades, Symphonic Fantasies, Symphonic Legends, or Symphonic Odysseys, then you're already familiar with the work of producer Thomas Boecker and his team at Merregnon Studio...

Five reasons to see Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

Aug 09 // Jayson Napolitano
#5 - Cosplay Most of the concerts I mentioned above have some kind of costume contest, but the quality of cosplay I've seen at these shows has been pretty exceptional. We saw a ton of concert-goers dressed up as Link and Zelda, but there were a few unexpected costumes including Minish Cap Link, Sheik, and Tingle. It was also great seeing everyone from younger kids to adults getting in on the action, and of course, lots of female Link. Need I say more?    #4 - A varied program drawing from across the entire franchise The  team at JMP Productions has prepared a very well-rounded concert featuring music from across the entire franchise. For me, the two most important Zelda titles are the original The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past (still my personal favorite). Not only does A Link to the Past get an entire 10-mintue suite dedicated to it, but Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess also get their moments in the spotlight. And that's just the core "Symphony of the Goddesses" portion. There's everything from Link's Awakening to "Great Fairy Fountain" and "Kakariko Village" as well.    #3 - A ton of music The concert lasted a good two hours, including three encores! Who does that? I felt completely satisfied by the time the concert ended, so the fact that we even got a single encore was a surprise. But fans kept clapping, and producer Jeron Moore came back to the stage two more times to introduce another piece. Maybe they could have included these tracks in the main program and had fewer encores, but I have to admit that it makes each and every performance feel really special, especially when you hear the opening notes of your favorite song that you started believing you weren't going to hear that night.    #2 - Fantastic arrangements Chad Seiter, the primary arranger for the concert, has done an amazing job bringing these individual pieces to the orchestra. I'll now gush about individual pieces performed at the concert. "Dungeons Medley" comes in at the beginning of the concert, and it will engross you immediately as nostalgic boss battles play out on the screen above the stage and familiar melodies grace your ears. This was one of my favorite pieces of the night, despite its rather dark atmosphere. While I wasn't particularly looking forward to "Kakariko Village," it also stood out for its whimsical yet emotional performance. We also dug the montage of the chicken swarms through various Zelda games. Finally, "Great Fairy Fountain," with dueling harps, was simply beautiful. There's an alternate version of this arrangement on the CD that came with Skyward Sword, but you need to hear this arrangement live to appreciate it fully.    #1 - A story told through music Again, as noted in #4, this is a concert for series fans. The addition of the screen above the stage allows the production team to score the key moments of the games in real time. Transitions are well thought out, and you're essentially able to relive your own experiences with each of the games throughout the course of the concert. This is particularly true during the four-movement "Symphony of the Goddesses" portion. As an example, The Wind Waker is probably my least favorite of the four games that get their own segment in the "Symphony of the Goddesses," but the upbeat and cleverly-sequenced pairing of music and visuals makes it one of my favorite moments of the show. Similarly, I found the Twilight Princess movement very touching as it highlights the relationship between Link and Midna. Even though A Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game and soundtrack, I was surprised to find that it wasn't my favorite moment from the concert (even though it was also amazing), due almost entirely to this element of storytelling with music being so strong with the other movements. ----- This concert is really something you need to experience for yourself. And you'll need to do it before the end of 2012, as there's no certainty that it will continue beyond that time. Get concert dates and ticket information at the tour's official website. Have you experienced Symphony of the Goddesses and want to share your impressions of the show with us? Do you agree that your favorite game in the series may not be your favorite moment of the concert [Photos from the Los Angeles performance courtesy of Andrew Craig]
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I've been to a lot of game music concerts over the years: Dear Friends, More Friends, Distant Worlds, Video Games Live, PLAY!, and more. I think it's great that we're seeing music from this popular medium getting this kind of...

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Hear Shatter's awesome soundtrack performed live


Aug 08
// Jayson Napolitano
[Update: the event is being held at a place called San Francisco Bath House in New Zealand, not our beloved San Francisco, California]A fan of the Shatter soundtrack? If not, you should be. It was easily one of the best ...

A night of magic with Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

Jun 16 // Tony Ponce
"This show, I think, represents my original vision of how we wanted to do Zelda in concert," Jeron told me after the crowds has returned home. Granted, I was unable to catch any of the original three anniversary concerts, but I understand that the show has grown and evolved in ever so subtle ways since then to the point where Jeron feels Symphony of the Goddesses has finally found its sweet spot. Zelda in concert is a dream come true that has long been overdue. As Jeron explained, "[Music director and arranger Chad Seiter] and I teamed up with the executive producer, Jason Michael Paul, who had a relationship with Nintendo and basically opened the door for us to pitch our idea to them... We were going to do the 25th Anniversary Symphony in Tokyo, but instead, how about we do it in three different cities and you guys help produce it, and then we'll look at this other thing after that?" It seems so simple in retrospect, you wonder why it didn't occur sooner. But I'm getting ahead of myself! Roll back the clock to 7:30 PM, June 6, when Steven Hansen, Brett Zeidler, Patrick Hancock, and myself were sitting in our rented van, enjoying a dinner of El Pollo Loco, on our way to the Greek Theater. Located in the beautiful Griffith Park, the Greek Theater makes you forget that just moments ago you were in the hustle and bustle of urban LA. One minute, you are driving past a taco joint or a dim sum restaurant at every intersection, then the next minute, you are scaling a thick, wooded mountainside, passing by the homes of people well out of your tax bracket. It's so quiet and secluded, there's a slight chill in the air, and... holy shit, is that a coyote!? I see no less than three coyotes scavenging the streets for food! Where am I!? We eventually find our seats, located near the front in Section A (you are the man, Jayson!). The open air theater is breathtaking -- seeing so many Zelda music lovers stretched out into the distance, towered over by these grand, illuminated pine trees, fills you with so much pure joy. So many people are to here to listen to a live performance of videogame music, and not just nerds in T-shirts either! Why, there is this man in his 50s sitting next to us, and throughout the show, he is describing to his wife the events unfolding in the video clips accompanying the performance, overflowing with the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning. Our host for the evening was Zelda Williams, daughter of comedian Robin Williams and somewhat the unofficial spokesperson for the Zelda series as of late. She had previously emceed the London anniversary concert, but despite her past experience in addition to her acting background, she was visibly and audibly nervous in front of thousands of people. Performing in front of a camera is clearly a completely different ballgame for her. But you know what? She was a champ. Through her corny jokes and shy demeanor, you could tell that she was being genuine. This is a girl who loves the Zelda series as much as anyone in the audience. And when she introduced the Majora's Mask arrangement, she geeked out ever so slightly at the anticipation of hearing music from her favorite game in the franchise. I can't think of a more appropriate host. Presentation aside, it all comes down to the music, which is as rich and as varied as the games themselves. Like Jeron says, "Every game is so frickin' epic, but they're all different. Just like the games, where visually every game has its own style, when you are looking to the four-movement symphony, every movement has its own character, not one of them sounds alike, but there are little things that tie them all together. It's fun to play with that." If you've attended one of the anniversary shows or listened to the CD bundled with Skyward Sword, you are already slightly familiar with the material that was played. The concert is still conducted by Eímear Noone, and you still hear movements based on The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and more. But even if you know what to expect, you can't prepare for just how awe-inspiring the performance is. I mean, this is the soundtrack to those sleepovers with your best friend, waking up before dawn on Saturday morning to get through Turtle Rock before his mom can even start breakfast. Hearing it live by a full orchestra is to literally hear the legend come to life. I have to apologize to Concelmo for the gloating I'm about to do, but remember how you lamented the lack of "The Ballad of the Wind Fish"? Yeah, I heard it, and it was amazing. Seiter was able to stretch it out and explore variations of the theme to take us on a musical journey through Link's portable quest. As Jeron humorously described, Seiter asked himself, "How would Hans Zimmer do this?" Following the tour kick-off in Jeron's home town of Dallas, the program was shortened for a time before the current set list was finalized. Even at that, there is so much music that we'll probably never get to hear. "We actually have longer versions of every movement we started with, and it became monstrous. Like, whoa, there is no way possible that we could actually do this in concert! It's just too massive! So we had to condense it down and pick the core things that (A) people are expecting or (B) that are absolutely important to the story." I would love to hear some of that cutting room material one day. I'd also love to hear more pieces from Skyward Sword other than "Ballad of the Goddess," but Nintendo would most likely say no. For that same reason, there probably won't be another compilation album for a while as well. "We would love to [make a new album]! The key is that it's a little too close to the release of Skyward Sword. [Nintendo] doesn't want to step on that." Unfortunate for now, but rest assured that the idea is cooking! The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is pure magic. There is simply no other way to describe it. In fact, I'm seriously debating whether to see it a second time when it arrives in Orlando next month. I advise all of you to check the schedule and make your own plans as soon as possible. I guarantee you won't regret it! [Photographs courtesy of Andrew Craig]
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When Chad Concelmo wrote his impressions of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony last October, I felt a mix of elation and disappointment -- elation because the music of the venerable Zelda franchise deserved a night...

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Final Fantasy XI anniversary concert tickets now on sale


Jun 02
// Jayson Napolitano
Can you believe Final Fantasy XI has been around for ten years? Square Enix celebrated the occasion with a special orchestral concert in Japan that saw a DVD release earlier this year, and now they're surprisingly bringing th...
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Video Games Live will be in LA during the week of E3


May 30
// Brett Zeidler
Not to be ousted by The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess stopping in Los Angeles during E3, Video Games Live will also be in LA for the the convention. In fact, it'll be the same night at the exact same time as the af...
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Zelda Williams to emcee the Zelda Symphony concert at E3


May 30
// Tony Ponce
I hope you guys haven't forgotten about The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess, the year-long US tour that celebrates the music of the Zelda series. If you have forgotten, don't fret! Consult the schedule and see if the...
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BlipFest 2012 tickets now on sale


Apr 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Blip Festival, the annual chiptune celebration of awesome, is going down from May 25 to May 27 in New York City this year. The concert will be taking place at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan, with three-day and single-day p...
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Video Games Live concert coming to small towns


Mar 20
// Dale North
Game music concert series Video Games Live says that they're going "off the grid" to bring their orchestral performances to smaller towns starting this week. They've done the big city thing for about a decade now, but it's ni...
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Bit Brigade's Mega Man 2 concert / speedrun is my JAM


Jan 11
// Tony Ponce
MAGFest is the gift that keeps on giving, apparently. Why wasn't I there? Because reasons. So there's this band, Bit Brigade, whose members I will now consider my close, personal friends for life despite never having met the...

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